Marcos Salinas wrote from San Diego Comic-Con,
Opening to a raucous applause and cheers were two titans of the comics industry, Joe Quesada & Jimmy Palmiotti. Their demeanor was incredibly cavalier and welcoming, they even joked about how as New Yorkers, official Spiderman merch on a Yankees was a travesty! For those into the personalities behind our favorite comics, this was definitely the right panel.
Errant Artists and Editorial Adversity
Mark Texeira was apparently sometimes a challenge to work with and a real rascal some of the days. One of the stories that they shared with us involved an airbrush and a water tower. They had apparently thought that the artist had been working for some time as they would pass by and hear the rumbling of the airbrush’s motor. Finally when they went to check on him, they found an open window and a crude apparatus holding the trigger down, forcing the phantom rumbling of the airbrush. When they started calling out his name, they heard him respond from the top of the water tower he had climbed to get away from work for a bit!
Another person that needed more attention than the average artist was Jae Lee. ‘My Xerox Machine is broken,’ ‘Fedex is closed’ and other responses are what was garnered whenever there was a deadline. Finally, when his editor had enough of the reasons why he couldn’t get his pages in, she flew out of her office to his home state to get them personally.
“I’m in front of your house”
“No you’re not”
*Knock*Knock*Knock* on the door, followed by wide-eyed surprise from a comic personality and his immediate family as the door was opened. Immediately, to her surprise, was a working Xerox machine in eyeshot. According to Joe and Jimmy, they had never received pages from him faster!
There was a bar that they had frequented near the Marvel building, Joe and Jimmy were there so often that many thought they might even be part owners. Whenever there was any kind of release or marketing stunt they always did something there. Fire breathers, hoop jumping poodles, it was a veritable circus! They even joked that they thought about bringing out an actual black panther.
That bar was also home to tons of meetings and the give it credit for possibly getting Garth Ennis on their most prolific run of Punisher. Beer was the negotiating tool of the staff and they leveraged those suds to their utmost. When they saw that Ennis might possibly be available soon, they decided that they would invite him out and tease him with the character they knew would be appealing to him. “Punisher might be available.” They said, and the seeds of Frank Castle’s future were planted.
There were some other questions and stories that they unveiled which were definitely ones I couldn’t pass up.
– Their flaming firefighter, Ash, still lives in limbo at Dreamworks. According to them, they made some decisions where they wish they could have set up better contracts.
– They were always limited to four books, which were all read and approved by Chris Claremont. Because the imprint was so popular though, at one point executive staff snuck the Marvel Knights logos onto additional boxes of books in production, to try to milk that popularity.
– Jimmy Palmiotti thought his career had ended once when Stan called him into the Editorial offices and asked him to tell all the editors what they were doing wrong. When Jimmy said: “They’ll never work with me again!” Stan reassured him with a “No, now they have to work with you!”
A Passion For Comics
The passion that both of these men shared for four colored wonders was infectious. They always wanted to work in comics and because of that, they poured their hearts and soul into every book that ever passed by. Joe regaled us with a story about how he had asked Stan Lee once told him how to write good characters:
He told him to imagine Spider-Man standing at the precipice of a building, looking down at the city. Imagine him swinging downward and swooping over the city. What matters then is not the action, the upcoming drama, it’s the latter part of the title character’s name: Man. Imagine the Man that is there, what are their fears? What is weighing on them? Who does he struggle with? Remember, without these elements, he is just a red and blue suit.
They closed with a lot of cheers and a smile.
Joe: “Thank you for the support”
Jimmy: “and see you in 20 years!”